Aircraft that operate in weather conditions where ice is likely to form must be provided with ice protection technology. This protection may be in the form of anti-icing systems, or deicing systems. An anti-icing system prevents the formation of ice on the airplane, while a de-icing system removes ice that has already formed. In this blog we will focus on deicing boots and TKS fluid systems.  

A de-icing system has two pertinent advantages. First, it can utilize a variety of means to transfer energy used to remove the ice. This allows the consideration of mechanical (principally pneumatic), electrical, and thermal methods. The second facet is that it is energy efficient, requiring energy only periodically when ice is being removed, with some mechanical designs requiring relatively little energy overall. 

A deicing boot is involved in removing ice from the exterior of an aircraft. It is a type of ice deterrent system that enables mechanical deicing while an aircraft is in flight. They are installed on the outer edge of a wing, where the likelihood to accumulate ice is much greater. A buildup of ice can significantly impair the aerodynamics of aircraft, leading to safety risks. Its design consists of a thick rubber surface that is then installed over a specific area of the wing, similar to a rubber membrane. As ice accrues, compressed air fills the boot, dislodging ice that has accumulated. From there the air travels through a pressure regulator, followed by a flow control valve. The ice is then blown away naturally and the boots are deflated to their normal shape. Deicing boots are operated manually or by a timer that is controlled by the pilot of the aircraft.   

Anti-icing systems reverse the paradigm of deicing boots. They prevent the formation of ice continuously, resulting in a clean wing with no aerodynamic stressors. An anti-icing system must have means of continuously delivering energy, or chemical flow, to a surface in order to prevent the bonding of ice. The typical thermal anti-icing system does this at a significant energy expense. The concept is not viable for aircraft that do not have the requisite excess energy available during all flight phases. An exception to this is the use of a chemical system such as the Tecalemit-Kilfrost-Sheepbridge-Stokes system (TKS).

TKS systems dispense an ethylene glycol-based fluid with a freezing point below minus 70 degrees F through porous titanium panels attached to the leading edge of the wing and empennage. The fluid is released through thousands of the laser-drilled holes, which are not much larger than the size of a human hair. As air flows over the wing and empennage, it disperses the fluid, coating the surfaces, and preventing the formation and adherence of ice. TKS systems also employ slinger rings to prevent ice accumulation on the propeller. As these metal rings spin right alongside the prop, they fling TKS fluid onto the propeller and consequently reduce the freezing point of the moisture in the area. In certain aircraft, nozzles also spray TKS fluid onto the windshield. Depending on the flow rate, TKS systems can provide anywhere between one to three hours of protection to allow for a safe exit from icing conditions.

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Alarm systems onboard modern marine vessels are designed to help the ship’s crew handle or avoid an emergency as quickly and efficiently as possible. Emergency alarms are both audible and visual, to ensure that a person can at least listen to an audible alarm when working in an area where a visual alarm is not possible, and vice versa. Alarms are also standardized based on international agreements, so that no matter what the vessel is or what flag it sails under, the alarms will be the same. This blog will break down some of the most common types of alarms, and what emergencies they react to.

The general alarm is sounded in a variety of situations, such as fire, collision, grounding, or a scenario that could lead to abandoning the ship. The alarm consists of seven short rings on the bell, followed by a long ring, or blasting the ship’s horn seven times followed by one long blast. Once it is sounded, the crew proceed to the designated muster stations and listen to the public address (PA) system for the officer on watch, chief officer, or captain to issue orders. 

When a fire is detected on the vessel by a crewmember, they must raise the alarm signal by pressing the nearest fire switch or continuously shouting “Fire! Fire! Fire!” The fire alarm signal is sounded by continually ringing the ship’s electrical bell or sounding the horn. The signal must last for at least ten seconds, but most vessels let the alarm ring continuously.

In a man overboard situation, the alarm will signal for three long rings to notify the crew, and the ship’s horn will sound three long blasts to alert any and all nearby ships. A man overboard signal consisting of light and smoke can be attached to the side of the lifebuoy and thrown into the water to draw the attention of the ship’s crew and other ships in the vicinity. 

When the emergency on board reaches the point that evacuation is necessary, the signal for abandon ship is verbally given by the master to the station in-charge or the crew on the ship’s PA system. More than six short blasts and one prolonged blast on the ship’s whistle and the same signal on the general alarm bell is used as the abandon ship alarm onboard.

On the navigation bridge, most of the equipment and lights are fitted with failure alarms. If any of them fail or malfunction, an alarm signal on the bridge will be sounded with details displayed on the bridge’s notification system to inform the crew of what has gone wrong.

The engine room of the ship is fitted with various machinery which is continuously monitored for its operation. If anything malfunctions, a common engine room alarm will sound with information displayed on the control room alarm panel.

In the machinery space and the cargo space, bottles of carbon dioxide, or CO2, are used to fight fires. Because CO2 is dangerous for human respiration, a distinct visual and audible alarm is sounded to warn the crew to evacuate and then seal the compartment to avoid exposure to the gas.

As per international regulations, all ships are provided with a ship security alert system (SSAS) in case of an attack by pirates. The SSAS is a silent alarm system that has no visual or audible alarm but sends out a signal to alert nearby coastal authorities and law enforcement so that they can interdict.

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Unmanned Vehicles are similar to cars yet getting a license for a car is far harder than obtaining a license for a drone. Because of their multiple forms and uses, the FAA has set out a strict set of guidelines that drone fliers have to comply with.

In June 2016, the FAA released Part 107, which were the operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems weighing less than 55 pounds. The UAV must be kept within the operator’s line of sight, must be flown in daylight hours only, and should not be flown over unprotected people on the ground. As to be expected, UAVs are not allowed in restricted airspaces such as airports or military bases. These regulations were symbolic of the FAA’s heightened interest in the operating of UAVs.  Due to the innovative nature of the UAV industry, the FAA seems to go overboard in restricting the new technology with strict rules. While they may be coming from a point of safety and security, they aren’t too popular with drone hobbyists. 

The phrase ‘rogue drones’ has been coined to refer to drones that ignore regulations and fly into protected space. For example, NASA is an airspace that you do not want to fly into. Should you do so, NASA will deploy their Safeguard system. There are levels of warnings before a drone enters the space; the first is the “containment boundary”, where the drone is instructed to take corrective action. The second warning is far more definitive - the drone is forced to land. Geofencing around airports and prisons became a necessary means of deterring packages dropped by drones. Although these systems help, they don’t place responsibility on the drone operator. Put this way, a driver of a car is aware of their responsibility to drive in the correct lane, adhering to traffic controls. A drone operator may be a little more relaxed.

On October 5, 2018, President Trump signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 108. This act outlines new conditions to operate small unmanned aircraft. Recreational flyers must adhere to new eight statutory conditions to operate under the Exception for Limited Recreational Operation of Unmanned Aircraft. The aircraft must be flown strictly for recreational purposes throughout the duration of the operation. Safety guidelines, though not specifically set out by the FAA, should interpreted from aeromodelling organizations. As outlined in June 2016, the aircraft still needs to remain within line of sight and should fly no more than 400 feet above ground level. The operator must also be aware of manned aircraft and give way when necessary. In a move to align drone operators with car drivers, the FAA will now require the operator to pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test.  The final requirement is a registration of the aircraft. 

The new law will take effect in the summer of 2019. Although the FAA does not require UAVs to operate under the same guidelines as an aircraft, it has taken significant steps to monitor and control the recreational use of UAVs. Whether these steps are beneficial to the UAV community is a topic up for debate.

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Of the six million parts that are used to make a Boeing 747-800, aircraft fasteners contribute to half of that number. Fasteners play a vital role in the overall construction and completion of aircraft. They are used to assemble and hold together various parts of an aircraft in primary structure areas, pressurized/non pressurized applications, and to transfer loads from one part to another. A wide variety of fasteners are used in the build of an aircraft such as nuts, bolts, screws, clamps, rivets, and many more.

Seat installation is the most prevalent application of fasteners used in the build of aircraft interiors. The fasteners used in aircraft interiors are constructed from an array of materials:  steel, aluminum, plastics, alloys, composites, and others. Aluminum alloys have been the standard, preferred material for fasteners because of their strength, lightweight construction, and superb heat and corrosion resistance. Plastic and composite fasteners are also on the rise due to bettering technology that has improved their strength and lightweight properties. The development of lightweight fasteners has created strategic partnerships between some manufacturers and aircraft companies, allowing them to gain a competitive edge in the market.

The market for fasteners is growing at an incredible pace and is projected to be worth $2.8 billion by 2023. A ceaseless increase in air passenger traffic globally throughout the world is triggering the rising production rates of aircraft. Accordingly, the need for expansion in fleet size is a key factor contributing to the sustainable growth for the aircraft fasteners market. During the five-year forecast period, commercial aircraft are expected to be the driving force behind this healthy growth. Boeing and Airbus are currently developing and fulfilling orders for commercial aircraft in order to meet the ever-growing demand of air travel.

North America is anticipated to remain the largest market for interior fasteners through 2023. This region is the leading manufacturing hub of the aerospace industry with many high  tier fastener manufacturers. China and India are also experiencing substantial growth in the air passenger and freight traffic industry. This is attractive to fastener manufacturers as some corporations are looking to open manufacturing plants in those regions. The two nations have also increased their defense budgets, which will create a steady demand for fasteners in these countries in the coming years.

At RFQ Experts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aviation fasteners for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us or call us at +1-780-851-3631.

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The electronic components and wiring within an aircraft account for a considerable amount of space and overall weight. An average commercial airliner has a wire count of over 100,000, totaling up to 470 km of wires and a combined weight of 5,700 kg. Add an extra 30% of their weight that must also be incorporated due to the needed fixation structures, and you’ve got an excess weight problem begging for a solution. Wireless avionics intra-communications utilize radio communication systems that are installed on an aircraft, and they just might be the answer to the added load of electronic wiring components.

While wireless communication between an airport and grounded aircraft has been operational since 2016, wireless communication while in-flight is an old concept with renewed possibility. Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications (WAIC) has advanced thanks to the WAIC project. At the 2015 Radiocommunication conference, the collaboration of major companies within the aerospace industry led to the development of a worldwide radio frequency spectrum allocation for wireless avionics. It operates as a closed, exclusive network between two or more points on the aircraft, and is only used for intra-communication between electronics onboard. The system operates at low transmission power and offers a feasible replacement option for optimizing aircraft electronics.

Wiring routes for a wireless communication system would be reduced to redundant radio-links and specific route systems in the aircraft. As a result, the system would ideally mitigate any risks that a standard wiring configuration imposes. A major problem with traditional wiring is single point failure, which is often caused by corrosion, defect wiring, or cut wires in extreme cases. The more simplified configuration provided by a wireless system could aid in preventing some of these issues.

However, there are potential threats and risks associated with using a WAIC system. The most prominently considered and tested are the dangers of hacking and information breach. An aircraft wireless network can be compromised through a few well-known hacking methods. Replay attack, for example, involves a potential impersonator who retrieves a message on a secure network and replays it back to an original participant. The participant’s device may then recognize the playback as a genuine user and will exchange data.

Despite the pitfalls, there are many additional benefits that can be provided by a WAIC system. In the future, this system could feasibly replace existing communication systems used for proximity sensors, ice detection, brake speed, and position feedback components, etc. As a streamlined program, WAIC has the potential to standardize global licensing and operations requirements and provide a more harmonized technical communications system onboard. In order to do so, more research needs to be done on frequency interference between a wireless system and the radio frequencies of remaining communication components.

At RFQ Experts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft security detection system parts and aircraft parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-780-851-3631.

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Hydraulic systems are common in modern aircraft. Most aircraft involve hydraulics at least once in their flight cycle. A single hydraulic system or multiple hydraulic systems may be used depending on the size, weight, and complexity of the vehicle involved. Components that implement hydraulics in their function include thrust reversers, landing gear retraction, spoilers, and nose wheel steering.

What makes a hydraulic system so versatile? The manipulation of aicraft hydraulic fluid allows this system to be practically employed in a range of scenarios within an aircraft. A basic hydraulic system used in aircraft is made up of four main contributing components. Hydraulic fluid relies on a hydraulic pump to generate pressure, the motor then powers the mechanisms involved, and the plumbing configuration channels and circulates the fluid. Hydraulics are often made up of one or more power driven pumps. These pumps may route power from the engine, an electric motor, or an air flow.

Hydraulic fluid is the main resource integral to all hydraulic functioning. It acts as a medium in which a hydraulic system is able to exploit pressurization and create energy. There are a few parameters that fluid used in this capacity must meet, mainly concerning flammability, corrosion, and ease of flow. Viscosity and flammability are two properties that are important when considering which type of hydraulic fluid to use.

Viscosity of the fluid involved is important due to the volatile temperatures it will encounter in aviation use. Hydraulic fluid must remain at a consistent flow despite drastic temperature changes within a fuselage, in order to keep hydraulic systems working. Most hydraulic fluids used in aviation are proprietary composite blends, like phosphate-based ester. Hydraulic fluid needs to be flame resistant in the event of a leak. The fluid used must be designed to withstand temperatures upwards of 450 degrees Celsius.

While dozens of hydraulic configurations are used in aviation, two common hydraulics that are seen incorporated into aircraft mechanics include hydraulic motors and variable displacement piston pumps. Both of these units resort to hydraulics for power.

Hydraulic motors in aviation are predominantly used to power stabilizer trims, landing gears, and power adjustable components attached to the airframe. Hydraulics used in this method are designed to convert pressure into torque.

Variable displacement piston pumps are the most commonly seen hydraulic pump in aviation. “Variable” stands for the components’ ability to adjust outflow of fluid based on system demand. Hydraulic systems have very sensitive pressurization levels that must be maintained for proper functioning. Hydraulic pumps of this orientation are able to secure the required pressure stability.

At RFQ Experts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft hydraulic system parts and assemblies you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-7808513631.

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When it comes to aircraft lights, there’s a bit of ambiguity on all the rules and regulations. So, sometimes people don’t really pay any attention or care. Most pilots just do as they were taught. But that’s not good enough, so here’s a short explanation on the different lights.

  • Position lights - Also known as the navigation lights, they’re a right green light, a left red light, and a tail white light that are always required to be on at night, from sunset to sunrise, to help indicate direction and location to other pilots. 

  • Anti-collision light systems - Including the aircraft beacon and/or strobe lights, these are used to further help other pilots determine where the aircraft’s location and direction is. The FAA mandates that an aircraft with anti-collision lights must not operate without the anti-collision lights on, unless the pilot deems it necessary for them to be turned off in the interest of safety. For example, if they’re going to blind ground personnel, they should probably stay off. Because of this weird ambiguous wording, you’ll see pilots with both strobe and beacon lights on, and you’ll see pilots with only one or the other on. 

  • Landing/Taxi lights - Optional lights subject to the discretion of the pilot, they’re typically used at night to help illuminate the runway or for anti-collision.
The FAA also has a program called “Operation Lights On”, which encourages pilots to use lights for anti-collision purposes. “Operation Lights On” says that it’s recommended to turn on navigation, position, anti-collision, and logo-lights prior to taxiing. It also says that pilots should signal intent to other pilots by turning on the taxi light when the aircraft is moving or intending to move and turn it off when they are stopping or yielding to ground traffic. Landing lights should be used for takeoff/landing, or anytime they are at an altitude below 10,000 feet and within 10 miles of an airport; all lights should be turned on when crossing an active runway; and strobe lights shouldn’t be used during taxi if it’s a hazard. 
RFQ Experts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a premier supplier of aircraft beacon parts. With a wide variety of parts to choose from and 24/7x365 customer support, we can help you find all the parts you need. For a quote, email us at or call us at +1-780-851-3631.

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The in-flight cabin crew is responsible for more than just providing refreshments and a pleasant experience, they are responsible for the safety of all passengers on board! In fact, passenger safety is the reason behind creating the position of “cabin crew”. The first flight attendant was hired in 1930 and was a certified nurse. Her sole role was to ensure the health and safety of all passengers aboard the flight. The airline had noticed that the presence of a flight attendant during flight resulted in passengers feeling more relaxed and secure. This positive feedback led the way for all commercial airlines to hire flight attendants for in-fight safety. 

Today, flight attendants are assigned several more responsibilities. These responsibilities include but are not limited to: measuring the aircraft mass and balance, following safety regulations, providing safety demonstrations, and the properly storing safety equipment.  Safety equipment is a crucial part of aircraft safety as it could be used in an emergency to help prevent death, injury, or illness. There are hundreds of lives that flight attendants are responsible for during each flight, so having the proper equipment is critical. Flight attendants are required to go through extensive training that educates them on how to prepare for and how to handle emergency situations such as crash landings, emergency landings, and in-flight fires. This training is very rigorous and helps flight attendants develop fundamental skills regarding flight safety. During this training, flight attendants are also responsible for learning live saving procedures such as CPR and first-aid.

RFQ Experts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your aircraft cabin safety parts. RFQ Experts is a premier supplier of safety parts. Whether new, old or hard to find, we can help you locate it. RFQ Experts has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly, knowledgeable staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at or call +1-780-851-3631.

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